Toronto Homeowner's Guide to Retrofits - Many Ways to Upgrade
August 10, 2017
Whether it’s about personal budget or home comfort, more and more homeowners are looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home. This is particularly apparent in older homes where the building envelope isn’t air tight, and the insulation is less than adequate. In these homes, heating and cooling is simply being wasted, and energy bills are higher than need be.
Old home or new, it’s been estimated that heating the home accounts for well over 50% of energy use, making for a high proportion of the overall energy bill. The good news is that homeowners can undertake a number of energy retrofits that will lessen energy use, reduce monthly bills, and improve indoor comfort. In short, a well sealed, well insulated home performs better.
Upgrading Existing Attic Insulation
Upgrading attic insulation will immediately improve the energy efficiency of a home. Winter heating and summer cooling will be better balanced, and monthly energy use will be reduced. And with balanced indoor temperatures, the home will be more comfortable season to season.
“Drill & Fill” Insulation Retrofitting
“Drill & Fill” is an innovative approach to energy retrofitting whereby new insulation is installed into existing walls. Without damaging the wall, loose fill insulation is blown into the wall cavity to dramatically increase the thermal insulation while raising the overall R-Values throughout.
Removing Old Insulation to Upgrade
Removing old insulation and replacing with better performing material is a sure way to enhance energy efficiency. Upgrading insulation, especially in the roof and attic, will address both air leakage and thermal performance. Winter and summer, the HVAC system will perform better.
Installing or Re-Installing Air Barriers
Improper airflow throughout a home affects air moisture, oxygen levels, and air pollutants. And overall, these will affect indoor comfort. Properly installed air barriers, whether in the attic or the basement, will ensure much better air circulation and moisture control throughout the home.
Blower Door Tests can be Very Telling
Blower door tests are designed to identify air leakage points in a building structure. An in-depth test and assessment will suggest retrofits that will improve the home’s energy performance and efficiency. Blower door tests are carried our by a Certified Energy Advisor who is accredited.
Air Sealing, Draft Proofing, Ventilation
Eliminating air leakage is key to energy efficiency. A well sealed home doesn’t allow heat to escape in winter or allow heat to enter in summer. And when the home is well ventilated, overall performance is enhanced. Industry experts prefer a home that is sealed tight/ventilated right.
Toronto Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofits – an Action Plan
For those homeowners who are intent on improving energy efficiency in their home, the experts at Great Northern Insulation now offer an online service to move things forward. Homeowners can gauge their home’s energy performance online, and pinpoint areas that could be improved. With GNI, various retrofits can be recommended, and upgrades can be implemented. For more information, visit www.gni.ca or contact the office directly at 1-800-265-1914.